School of Music

Faculty Concert Series Features the Timeless Songs of Burt Bacharach

Mary Bastoni

In the second Faculty Concert Series concert of the 2018-2019 season, the University of Southern Maine School of Music proudly presents faculty musicians in a one time performance of the timeless songs of Burt Bacharach featuring Mary Bastoni on vocals with an all star band she’s assembled that includes Mike Sakash on saxophone, Alan Kaschub on trumpet, Christopher Oberholtzer on trombone, Robert Lehmann on violin, Gary Wittner on guitar, George Wiese on piano, Bronek Suchanek on bass, and Les Harris jr. on drums.

The concert will be held at Corthell Concert Hall on the Gorham Campus on Friday, September 28 at 8 p.m.. The University offers free parking for evening and weekend events in student or faculty lots. Tickets are $15 for adult, $10 for seniors, USM employees and alumni, $5 for students. To purchase tickets, call the Music Box Office: (207) 780-5555 // TTY: 780-5646, or purchase tickets online atwww.usm.maine.edu/music/boxoffice.

Voice faculty in the School of Music, Mary Bastoni grew up in Plymouth, Massachussetts, the youngest of six. She was introduced to the music of many genres by her older siblings, and from that early age discovered her love for a good melody, and a love for singing.

"Dionne Warwick influenced me as a young vocalist," says Mary remembering the sounds of Dionne and her backup singers acted out by Mary's three sisters and herself. "There was never a shortage of theatrics in our home!" It wasn’t until later that Mary realized that the music she had come to love through singers like Dionne Warwick was actually the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

Bacharach’s career had reached its it’s peak in the early 70’s when Mary was in her early teenage years. She recalls, “The “me” generation was on the move and so was the women's liberation movement. His lyrics were a contrast to the uprise of equality for women but I believe his tunes remain timeless. This is why I decided to put together this program.”

Collaborating with friends George Weise at the piano, with the help of Ken Turley on the arrangements, Mary says, “we came up with a lovely collection of the songs that take me back to my childhood and of course allows me to recall one of the voices that helped shape my “pop” vocal style.” Burt Bacharach, now 90, also wrote the music for the Broadway musical, Promises, Promises as well as the movie score for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Bacharach is a Tony and Grammy recipient. 

Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, loria@maine.edu. Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.